|The Black-necked Garter Snake is a
slender snake with a maximum length of 3.25 feet. They have
light-colored stripes on the top and sides of an otherwise olive-green
and 2 large black blotches just behind the head. The species is found
throughout the Sonoran Desert with a rang extending from southeastern
Utah to Guatamala and from central Texas to central and southern
Arizona. Isolated populations occur in the Hualapai Mountains, Burro
Creek, and Ajo mountains in western Arizona.
The large black spots just behind
the snake's head in the photo at right identify it as a
Black-necked Garter Snake.
The Black-necked Garter Snake is semi-aquatic and is
generally found in or near bodies of water ranging from streams to
canals, ponds, and cattle tanks (in fact the snake in this photo was
found next to a stream with half its body lying in the water). The snake
feeds on aquatic or semi-aquatic prey, including fish, frogs, toads,
tadpoles, worms, salamanders, and crustaceans, though lizards, small
mammals, and birds may also be eaten. Garter snakes bear live young,
generally giving birth to 6 to 18 baby snakes in the summer. If
disturbed, garter snakes will bite, defecate, and emit foul-smelling
musk to deter the intruder.